Chapter 43

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"Hey, uh... God? It's me again."

Quixxa's timid voice barely made an echo in the vast, lifeless cargo bay. Runt, along with everyone else, was long asleep. Their snores were still audible if she listened, and the sounds were comforting along with the hum of the ship's engines. There, wrapped in a single blanket and alone in the dark, Quix finally felt still.

She'd felt like she was falling, falling endlessly for so many years. The panic of her looming new life had only worsened her descent recently, until now. Her soul was still.

Now, all was calm.

A single shaft of light painted her in golden colors, New Medina glowing radiant through the airlock glass.

Quix inhaled slowly.

"So... thanks." She said quietly. "I got that second chance I asked for."

Quixxa cleared her throat, looking away from the light in the vast, empty cathedral of space.

"What do I do with it now?"

The silence in the hold gave her no answers, but it did give her hope.

She really, truly had gotten what she'd asked for.

A second chance.

Quiet as it was inside the hull, it was safe. She didn't just have her ticket out, she'd boarded, and now the ship was leaving the war-torn harbor. Even as questions boiled in her mind, something else was taking root in her heart, where the soil had once been baked to death by New Median, and wind-scorched by the pink market.

Now, gratitude was sprouting.

It was a strange new growth.

But it was welcome.

She pulled her blanket close, and stared out the window.

"I really do owe you." She said. "I don't really have anything though... I can't do great things. But I promise. I'll try my best to be better. You really helped me."

Her chest tightened as she watched her former home become a distant world, a sandy place she'd come to forget, or remember as the grave of her past life.

But whatever happened, she'd been given a second chance not just by Pathmos.

But by God.

As broken as that connection was, as frayed and strained as her prayers were, she still clung tight to Him. To an entity who, perhaps, could make a criminal's life worth living. Who might be able, someday, to absolve her of her wrongs and pronounce that her misdeeds had finally, at long, long last, been outweighed by her good.

He could give her the redemption she sought, if only she worked hard enough.

She bowed her head a little, thankful, but apprehensive.

That seed had taken root too.

Gratitude was starting to grow, and alongside it, fear.

Fear that she would fail once more.

Fear that her efforts wouldn't be enough.

Fear that, perhaps, she was seeking mercy from a God of justice.

There was only one way to find out.

She was determined to make the best of all of it.

But still...

Something tugged at the back of her mind.

A quiet conversation between her and a friend, her only friend, not long ago in a burned out building. Her own words rang in her memory. The truth rang in her soul.

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